Traumatic brain injuries frequently leave patients with problems both understanding others’ — and their own — emotions and controlling their emotional expressions. Now the newly opened IU InterFACE Center at Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana combines advanced wireless technologies and innovative software with a living-room environment to help researchers and physicians get a better handle on what’s really going on when patients struggle with this issues. The center’s director, IU School of Medicine physician Dawn Neumann, and manager, Elena Gillespie, share some insights about the center in this video. As Elena says, think “Star Trek”:
“A sick person has no poker face,” says IU School of Medicine emergency department physician Jeffrey Kline in a fascinating TEDxIndianapolis talk.
“By using our instincts, physicians can determine whether or not there’s a threat to life,” and a health care system focused on forms and expensive tests needs to accommodate that, he says.
Back in June we announced the first year results of a clinical trial in which alefacept, a drug originally sold to treat psoriasis, showed significant promise in blocking the progression of type 1 diabetes among newly diagnosed patients.
Led by IUSM pediatrician Mark Rigby, the multi-center trial of 49 patients found that those receiving the drug were producing the same amount of insulin one year after diagnosis, while patients receiving a placebo injection were producing less, consistent with the deterioration that usually occurs after diagnosis with the disease.
The results were announced at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, and now have been published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, accompanied by commentary by Kevan C Herold of Yale University who noted that “the evidence strongly supports clinical efficacy of this treatment strategy in the first year following diagnosis.” Unfortunately, as he also noted, the drug was withdrawn from the market by the manufacturer while the trial was under way. So its future as a potential clinical tool is unclear. See the BBC’s coverage here.
My colleagues Samantha (call her Sam) Thompson and Kris Karol have initiated a series of short video interviews of IUSM faculty members called #MedMinute, because they’re about a minute long and because these days, everything has to have a hashtag.
For starters, check out Anantha Shekhar, Matthew Johnson, Bruce Molitoris and Sarah Wiehe giving quick lay-language explanations of what they do and why they love doing it — with more to come. You can find them on our YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/IUSMCommunications) or our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/IUMedicine). And you will like them, right? We like it when you click “like.”
People diagnosed with mental illnesses smoke at very high rates, but why? The conventional wisdom has been that they are self-medicating. At IUSM’s Institute of Psychiatric Research Andy Chambers and his team looked into the issue using a rat model of schizophrenia. Their conclusion: It’s the mental illness making the brain more vulnerable to addiction that’s to blame, and physicians should be working to help those patients quit smoking.
Video? But of course:
Don’t forget, if you missed listening to the excellent IUSM-WFYI radio show, Sound Medicine, on Sunday, you’ve got another opportunity tonight 9 p.m. on 90.1 FM. This week’s show features some good discussion on the Affordable Care Act, including why it makes sense for “young invincibles” (sometimes also referred to as the “Bro’s) to buy health insurance. There’s also an explanation the new health insurance marketplace and a discussion of osteoporosis screening for women. And remember, the shows are also available for listening and download at the Sound Medicine web site, where you can also check out past segments, like this one on the importance of vaccinations for children. (It used to be obvious, but no more…)
Remember the good ol’ days, just before and after the turn of the century when the National Institutes of Health budget was doubled by Congress? Well that was then and now, thanks to flat budgets, inflation and sequestration, the NIH’s purchasing power is almost 25 percent less than 10 years ago. Sally Rockey, the NIH’s Deputy Director for Extramural Research, and NIH Director Francis Collins give the gory details and their implications in a new post on Rockey’s blog, Rock Talk. Along with the standard line graph showing the plummeting success rate for NIH proposals, the column includes an unsettling bar graph that shows that while overall U.S. scientific R&D spending has fallen 5 percent in the last year, it’s up five percent in Germany, Japan and South Korea. And in China? Up 15 percent.
Our new IU School of Medicine dean, Jay Hess, M.D., Ph.D., chats with reporter Barbara Lewis during preparations for taping her “Business of Health” segment of the weekly “Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick” television show. What did they cover in the interview this afternoon? Well, you’ll have to watch tomorrow (Friday) at 7:30 p.m. on WFYI Channel 20, or Sunday at 11 a.m. on WTHR Channel 13. Oh, and why is that white board in the chair instead of Barb? They were doing a color check at the time.
So, what are you doing Friday afternoon?
Here’s a suggestion: Head over to Goodman Hall, the IU Health Neurosciences building, where Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) will be hosting an open house from 2 to 4 p.m. for the new Neurosciences Clinical Research Center.
The new 3,705-square-foot center will provide a space to meet and administer treatments to participants in neuroscience clinical trials close by the researchers conducting these studies. The facility houses five exams rooms, a consultation room, a sample processing lab, a kitchen and office space for clinical research staff members.
The center, a satellite of the Indiana CTSI’s Clinical Research Center, will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. three days a week.
However, unlike most of those days, they’ll be serving refreshments during the open house.
Alexander B. Niculescu III, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and medical neuroscience, continues to explore “the genomic and phenomic landscape of psychiatric disorders.” His newest work, published today in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, identifies a series of biomarkers found in the blood that lead us much closer to a test that could predict who is at serious risk of committing suicide. Our report is here.